Locating Queer Ecologies
This introductory chapter bridges the seeming theoretical disconnect between queer theory and ecocriticism. In doing so the chapter promotes a “queer ecology”—an emerging paradigm in which the ecological stances of the literary works treated in the following chapters are striking precisely because of the contexts from which they emerge—including postmodernism, poststructuralism, and the “post-identity” era—and precisely because they are so self-consciously queer. This chapter argues that these works manage to conceive of concrete, sincere environmental politics even while remaining, to varying degrees, skeptical, ironic, and self-reflexive. And they do so even while, as this chapter shows, queer fictions and theory are known for their cynicism, apoliticism, and negativity, such that “queer environmentalism” sounds like an oxymoron.
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